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Historicity of the Bible

History has recorded a vast quantity of indisputable evidence to show that
none of the original revelations except the Holy Qur’an have not been able to
save themselves from the cruel hands of political turmoil. We would like to
produce some historical evidence to prove this claim:

First Evidence:

The Prophet Moses handed over the Torah (the Pentateuch) to the scholars
and chiefs of the Israelites during his lifetime and commanded them to keep it safe in the Ark of the Covenant 157 It used to be taken out of the ark every
seven year at the time of the Passover. The Torah was kept safe in the ark for
some time and the people acted upon it in the first century after Moses, but
subsequently they changed its injunctions. Committing apostasy and
subsequently returning to Judaism was their usual practice 158. This state of
affairs remained unchanged up to the reign of the Prophet David. In his time
there was some improvement in their attitude which lasted up to the beginning
of Solomon’s period 159. During the subsequent historical calamities and great
turmoil the Pentateuch was lost the time of its disappearance is not known with
certainty. When the Prophet Solomon opened the ark, he found only two stone
tablets in it. These two tablets of stone contained only the Ten Commandments.
This is described in I Kings 8:2:
There was nothing in the ark save the two tablets of stone, which Moses
put there at Horeb, when the lord made a covenant with the children of Israel
when they came out of the land of Egypt.
Then towards the end of the reign of Solomon there started a sequence of
great changes which are confirmed by the sacred books and after his death even
greater turmoil took place. The Children of Israel were separated and divided.
Now there existed two separate kingdoms. Jeroboam became the king of ten
tribes and his domain was named the Kingdom of Israel, while Rehoboam the
son of Solomon became the king of two tribes, his land was named the
Kingdom of Judah. Jeroboam, just after his ascension to the throne, became an
apostate and turned to idol worship, with the result that all his people took to
idol worship.
Those who still followed the law of the Pentateuch had to migrate to the
kingdom of Judah. In this way all these tribes continued to be infidels and idol
worshippers for two hundred and fifty years. Then there came punishment from
God through the invasion of the king of Assyria 160 who imprisoned them and
then deported them to various countries. Only a small group of people were left
who later on established social relations with the Assyrians and started marrying
them 161. The new generation born as a result of these mixed relations came to
be known as Samaritans. In short, right from the time of Jerobom up to the end
of the Kingdom of Israel, these people had no contract with the Pentateuch and its injunctions. For all those years the existence of the Torah was not known to
them.
Nor was the condition of the Kingdom of Judah very different from that of
the Kingdom of Israel. They had twenty kings in three hundred and seventy two
years. The number of apostate kings was more than those who were believers.
Idol worship had become a common practice in the period of Rehoboam. Idols
were placed under every tree in order to be worshipped. Then, in the reign of
Ahaz, idol worship became the practice of the ruler himself and he, “shut up the
doors of the House of the Lord and he made altars in every comer of Jerusalem
162”
Prior to this the House of the Lord had been destroyed and ruined twice.
First the king of Egypt captured it and plundered the women of the house of the
Lord as well as the royal ladies. The second time was when the apostate king of
Israel raided it and did the same with the women of the House of the Lord and
the ladies of the royal palaces. Infidelity and idolatry reached its climax in the
reign of Manasseh when the majority of the people converted to idolatry. He
built altars for the idols right in the courtyard of the temple and the king even
shifted the particular deity that he worshipped to the temple precincts 163.
Circumstances remained unchanged in the reign of Amon the son of Manasseh
164 However, when Josiah the son of Amon ascended to the throne, he
sincerely repented and turned to God with the result that his officials started
reviving the law of Moses and tried to obliterate all traces of idolatry and
infidelity. There was no trace of existence of the Pentateuch for as long as
seventeen years after his ascension to the throne Discovery of the Pentateuch in the Reign of Josiah
It was in the eighteenth year of Josiah’s accession that the high priest
Hilkiah suddenly claimed that he had found a copy of the Pentateuch in the
temple. He handed it down to the scribe Shaphan. This copy was read to King
Josiah. Josiah having discovered the contents of the book was very shocked and
aggrieved concerning the opposite practice of the Israelites for all those years
and rent his clothes. We find this mentioned in II Kings chapter 22, and
Chronicles chapter 34. The statement of Hilkiah is not acceptable, nor is the
copy discovered by him in any way reliable for reasons that we will discuss
below.
We know from history that the temple of the Lord had been totally destroyed
twice prior to the reign of Ahaz. Subsequently it was turned into a place of idol
worship. The keepers and worshippers used to enter the temple frequently. It seems inconceivable that a copy of the Pentateuch, which was present in the
temple all that time, could have remained unnoticed by the people for as long a
period as seventeen years. Especially when all the officials of Josiah’s Kingdom
were striving hard to bring about the revival of the Law of Moses, and the
priests were continually in the House of the Lord, going through every inch of
it.
The truth is that this copy was invented by Hilkiah himself. When he saw
that King Josiah and all the people were inclined to the Law of Moses and were
trying to revive it, he started writing down the verbal tradition that he came to
hear and remembered or was conveyed to him by others, with little regard for its
reality and authenticity. It took him seventeen years to complete it. Then after
its completion he found an opportunity to attribute it to Moses. And it is not
surprising that this was done for the sake of truth because, as we know, this kind
of falsehood was allowed, indeed encouraged, by their faith as we have
discussed earlier.
From Josiah to Nebuchadnezzar
Even if we ignore what we have just said and accept that the copy of the
Pentateuch found by Hilkiah in the eighteenth year of Josiah’s ascension was
original, it takes us nowhere. This copy of the Pentateuch was followed and
acted upon for only thirteen years. After the death of Josiah, his son Jehoahaz
ascended to throne and he also deviated from the law of the Pentateuch and
became an apostate. Infidelity came back to rule again. The king of Egypt then
conquered the land of Judah and imprisoned Jehoahaz. The throne was given to
his brother. He too was an apostate. His son look over as king after his death.
He also, like his father and uncle, was an apostale. Nebuchadnezar invaded
Jerusalem and captured him and his people. The temple and royal treasury were
plundered by him. The nephew of the king was entrusted with the kingdom and
he also was an apostate.
In the light of the above, one is naturally drawn to conclude that the original
Pentateuch was lost before the period of Josiah. The copy that was discovered
by Hilkiah in his reign was not reliable and authenticated and, in any case,
remained in vogue for only thirteen years. We do not find any sign of its
continued existence. Apparently apostasy and infidelity found its way into their
lives after the death of Jehnahaz and the Pentateuch had ceased to exist prior to
the invasion of Nebuchadnezzar. Taking it granted that some rare copies of the
Pentateuch still existed, the calamitous invasion of Nebuchadnezzar eliminated
all possibilities of its existence.

 

 

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